The Rights Forum, along with Oxfam Novib, Amnesty International, and PAX, is taking the Dutch state to court for its stance on the war in Gaza. The Netherlands continues to export weapons to Israel, making it complicit in violations of the laws of war and the collective punishment of the civilian population in Gaza.
Previously, these organizations urged the government to identify and condemn all violations of international humanitarian law. However, despite over 12,000 Palestinian deaths in Gaza – of which more than two-thirds are women and children – and clear statements from international organizations, the Netherlands refuses to take a stand and publicly address Israel’s apparent severe violations of the laws of war. The civil society organizations have also previously condemned the horrific attacks and abductions of civilians by Hamas.
Last week, it was revealed that the Dutch government failed to halt the export of parts for F35 fighter jets. NRC reported that officials warned this might lead to “serious violations of humanitarian war law” in Gaza. The Dutch embassy in Tel Aviv also issued similar explicit warnings. In violation of its own arms export policy and international treaties to which the Netherlands is a party, the government has nonetheless decided to continue supplying these components.
Gerard Jonkman, director of The Rights Forum
Martje van Nes, director of PAX
Michiel Servaes, director of Oxfam Novib
Dagmar Oudshoorn, director of Amnesty International
The civil society organizations are preparing a summary trial against the Dutch State, demanding that the government act in accordance with its own policy frameworks, constitutional obligations, and relevant international agreements such as the EU Common Position and the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). They are being supported by lawyers Liesbeth Zegveld and Thomas van der Sommen.
A crowdfunding campaign has been launched for the trial, and other organizations are invited to support the case.